PITTSFIELD -- A city woman who bit a teenage girl in the breast and wouldn't let go during an alcohol-fueled fight was given a year of probation and had a felony charge of armed assault to murder dropped.
On Friday in Central Berkshire District Court, Melissa Mason, 20, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault and battery for fighting with a 17-year-old girl outside a house party on Halloween.
According to her attorney, Michelle Mechta, Mason admitted hitting the teen, but she only hit her after the 17-year-old had been harassing her for several hours and told people she wanted to fight Mason.
"Some of this was mutual combat," said the attorney, adding that her client suffered cuts and abrasions in the fight.
Mechta said Mason bit the teen on the breast because the girl's thumb was jammed into Mason's eye and she was attempting to make the teen stop.
The victim suffered soreness to her breast and bite marks were clearly visible, according to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office. The DA's Office was asking for jail time in the case.
On Friday, Judge Paul M. Vrabel sentenced Mason to one year of probation with conditions that include staying away from the victim and refraining from drinking alcohol or using illegal drugs with random drug screens.
Mason was facing a much more serious charge of assault to murder under the theory of joint venture. On Friday, the DA's Office asked that the charge be dismissed.
Pittsfield police alleged Mason held the teen down while Nicholas J. Konton, the 21-year-old ex-boyfriend of the victim, put a loaded gun into her mouth and pulled the trigger; but the gun didn't go off.
Konton has pleaded not guilty to a number of charges and is currently being held in jail without bail after a district court judge found him to be dangerous.
Police said they recovered a pistol from Konton when he was arrested a short time afterward.
Several witnesses who were there that night later told the court they never saw a gun and that the teen lied to police about what happened.